License revoked for Kentucky doctor who put unnecessary pacemakers in patients

A London heart doctor who was sentenced to prison last year for implanting unneeded pacemakers in patients has now had his medical license revoked.

Dr. Anis Chalhoub, formerly with Saint Joseph-London, was convicted on one count of health fraud in April 2018 and ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution to insurance companies and taxpayer-funded health programs. In November, the state Board of Medical Licensure suspended his license.

With Chalhoub still serving his prison sentence, the state board revoked his license Monday. He is no longer allowed to perform in Kentucky any act which constitutes the “practice of medicine,” which is defined as “the diagnosis, treatment, or correction of any and all human conditions, ailments, diseases, injuries or infirmities by any and all means, methods, devices or instrumentalities.”

Chalhoub implanted about 230 pacemakers at the hospital from March 2007 to July 2011, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. said in a news release. The doctor’s attorneys claimed the procedures he performed were medically necessary, but prosecutors argued he knowingly implanted pacemakers to people who did not need them.

One doctor who testified for the prosecution said that of files he reviewed on 31 of Chalhoub’s patients, 27 didn’t need the pacemaker he implanted, according to a court record.

Saint Joseph Health Systems, the former owner of the London hospital, agreed in January 2014 to pay $16.5 million to settle allegations that it engaged in a scheme to pump up revenue by billing federally-funded health programs for unnecessary procedures.

Chalhoub, serving a three year, six month prison sentence, can appeal the state panel’s decision to revoke his license.